Late St. Norbert Run Knocks Out Ripon

From Sports Information Director, February 25, 2011 | Men's Basketball
by Dan Lukes, dan.lukes@snc.edu, (920) 403-4077

DE PERE - A 20-5 St. Norbert College run over the last 5 minutes 30 seconds was the knockout blow as the Green Knights posted a 75-52 win over Ripon College in a Midwest Conference Tournament semifinal game at Schuldes Sports Center.

The Green Knights (19-5), ranked No. 20 in the D3hoops.com Top 25, will face Grinnell College (18-6) in Saturday's 6 p.m. championship game. The winner will advance to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

A pair of Taylor Koth free throws brought Ripon to within 55-37 with 7:36 to go, but the Red Hawks would not get another field goal for the next 4 1/2 minutes. John Taylor's 3-pointer with 5:30 left put the Green Knights up 58-47. Following a David Wipperfurth jumper, Ripon's Nic Schaalma split a pair of free throws with 4:14 left. Wipperfurth then scored five straight points on a pair of free throws and a conventional three-point play to make it 65-48 with 3:46 to go and ice the game.

St. Norbert went on a 12-1 run in the first half to snap a 13-13 tie. Chris Peterson had a conventional three-point play to start the run, and Rob Durrett's 3-pointer made it 25-14. The Green Knights settled on a 40-24 halftime lead.

Wippefurth canned 25 points to lead the Green Knights, and also shared the team lead with seven rebounds. Taylor added 14 points with seven assists and one turnover. Durrett had perhaps his finest game as a collegian, scoring 12 points with seven rebounds in2 4 minutes off the bench.

The Green Knights shot 46.4 percent from the floor, making 26 of 56 shots. St. Norbert held a 43-34 rebounding advantage and was also 17-for-19 (89.5 percent) at the free-throw line.

Ripon's dynamic duo of Scott Gillespie and Aris Wurtz were held to 13 and 11 points, respectively, with Taylor and Paul Mallers drawing the defensive assignments. Gillespie finished the game with 1,866 points to pass Brad Alberts as the Red Hawks' all-time leading scorer.

Ripon shot 33.9 percent from the floor, making 21 of 62 shots. The Red Hawks were 0-for-9 from three-point range and 10-for-17 (58.8 percent) at the free-throw line.